Family Of Eric Garner And City Of New York Reach Settlement

The family of Eric Garner has reached a settlement with the city of New York. According to New York City Comptroller Scott Stinger, the city has agreed to pay the family $5.9 million to settle the lawsuit surrounding Garner’s choking death at the hands of New York police officers.

The Garner family was suing the city of New York for $75 million. Garner, who died 1 year ago this week, was approached by a number of officers who confronted him over selling loose leaf cigarettes. Garner’s death was captured on cell phone video. He was unarmed and told officers more than a dozen times that he could not breathe as the choke hold was applied. Garner’s final words, “I Can’t Breathe”, became a rallying cry in New York and across the nation as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

On Monday, a statement released by the comptroller’s officer read in part: “Following a judicious review of the claim and facts of this case, my office was able to reach a settlement with the estate of Eric Garner that is in the best interests of all parties.”

Garner’s death was ruled a homicide, but the officer who choked Garner to death was cleared of wrongdoing by a Staten Island grand jury in December. That decision to not indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo sparked protests held by tens of thousands of activists in New York City and across the country.

 

Stringer said that the settlement doesn’t mean New York City has accepted liability for the death, but he believes the agreement “acknowledges the tragic nature of Mr. Garner’s death while balancing my office’s fiscal responsibility to the City.”

The New York Post reported that Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD union Sergeants Benevolent Association, was critical of the settlement deal. “In my view, the city has chosen to abandon its fiscal responsibility to all of its citizens and genuflect to the select few who curry favor with the city government,” Mullins told the Post. “Mr. Garner’s family should not be rewarded simply because he repeatedly chose to break the law and resist arrest.”

Release Of Jailed Man Who Filmed NYPD Choking Of Eric Garner Delayed Despite Posting Bail (UPDATED)

Update, April 10th, 2014, 4:08 p.m.: On Friday afternoon, District Attorney Dan Donovan’s office withdrew the bail hearing for Ramsey Orta challenging the source of funds used to post his bail.

Staten Island, NY- Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo using a banned chokehold technique on Eric Garner, has not been released from prison this week despite posting bail.

Orta, 23, was indicted last December on gun charges shortly after a grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner. Orta was accused of placing a handgun in a teenager’s waistband and faces two felony weapon charges and a misdemeanor weapon possession charge in that case. After Orta was arrested, the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association made a statement proposing the idea that it was “criminals like Mr. Orta who carry illegal firearms who stand to benefit the most by demonizing the good work of police officers.”

In February, Orta was accused of selling drugs to an undercover police officer on nine different occasions, and is facing felony charges of criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Orta has refuted all of the charges, claiming that he was “set up” in regard to the alleged drug sales as well as the gun possession charges. Assistant District Attorney Natalie Barros said that seven of Orta’s nine alleged drug transaction were caught on videotape. Orta has remained in prison following the drug charges.

According to news station PIX11, a GoFundMe campaign was initiated by Lisa Mercado, Orta’s aunt, to raise $16,000 for the cost of Orta’s bond and other fees. The GoFundMe campaign has raised close to $47,000 from over 1,800 donors.

On Thursday, in response to the campaign successfully raising enough funds to release Orta, an assistant district attorney with the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office requested a bail hearing to make sure that the money did not come from illegal sources. Staten Island Live reported that the bail hearing will be held on Monday, while PIX11 has reported that Orta will appear before a judge Friday.

“I’m amazed,” said Kenneth Perry, Orta’s attorney. “Here the D.A. was given 115 pages of names showing who these donors were.”

The office of District Attorney Dan Donovan told PIX11 that bail hearings in criminal cases are not uncommon. Donovan’s office also told PIX11 the connection between Donovan, who is running for Congress in a special election and was endorsed by multiple New York police unions, and the recent development in Orta’s case is not direct.

 

Grand Jury Indicts Man, Who Filmed Eric Garner’s Chokehold Death by NYPD, on Gun Charges

“You’re just mad because I filmed your boy,” said Ramsey Orta, according to The Huffington Post, as officers with the New York Police Department arrested him for allegedly owning a gun. Orta is the man behind the camera in the now-infamous video in which NYPD officers put unarmed Eric Garner in a banned chokehold that suffocated him to death on a packed New York street. When a grand jury declined yesterday to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for killing Garner, protests erupted across the US, as many Americans felt that justice had not been served.

In light of the grand jury’s non-indictment of Eric Garner, Nick Wing at The Huffington Post pointed out the fact that a grand jury did indeed indict Ramsey Orta on gun charges that he claims were pinned on him by NYPD officers in an act of retaliation against him for filming the choking death. According to SILive.comOrta, who filmed Garner’s death on July 17, was arrested on August 2 after police allegedly saw him handing a .25 caliber handgun to a friend. While firearms ownership is constitutionally protected and legal in most US jurisdictions, citizens in New York City are subject to strict gun control laws.

On August 15, a grand jury indicted Ramsey Orta, who has a prior drug conviction, on two felony charges, criminal firearm possession and third-degree criminal weapon possession, and a misdemeanor weapon possession charge. Orta plead not guilty and is fighting the charges. The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association issued a statement on Orta’s arrest with harsh words for “criminals like Mr. Orta who carry illegal firearms who stand to benefit the most by demonizing the good work of police officers.”

Orta’s wife Chrissie Ortiz told SILive.com that the charges against him were “total b.s.” and said, “I’m just worried about my husband and getting out the truth and making sure justice is served for Eric Garner and my husband.” She claims her husband was set up by NYPD and told CBS New York, “He called me and said, ‘babe, hurry up and come over here. They’re trying to pin something on me’… The day after they declare [Eric Garner’s death] a homicide, you find someone next to [Ramsey Orta] with a gun, and you saw him pass it off? Out in public when he knows he’s in the public spotlight? It makes no sense.”

The above-embedded video coverage of Orta’s arrest, which was broadcast back in August by CBS New York, notes that Orta’s mother Emily Mercado claimed that police had been following him ever since he filmed the video of Garner’s death. She said, “They’ve been following him. They’ve been sitting in front of my house, putting their spotlights in my window.” She called his video “something that needed to be shown, you know, that people needed to see.” Going further, she said, “I’m glad that he is the one that did it.” Back in August, Mercado said that Orta was placed on suicide watch following his arrest.

Orta’s lawyer Michael Zuntag pointed out the fact that no fingerprints were found on Orta’s alleged weapon. A DNA test is being conducted on the handgun to determine whether or not any samples are a match with Orta.

LOTFI: Rand Paul delivered the most incredibly bold Eric Garner statement

By Michael Lotfi Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn NEW YORK, December 3, 2014– On Wednesday, a grand jury declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who was caught on video placing Eric Garner in a choke hold in July following accusations against Garner over alleged sales of loose cigarettes. U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R- Ky.), the leading 2016 White … Continue reading LOTFI: Rand Paul delivered the most incredibly bold Eric Garner statement

Breaking: NYPD Officer Not Indicted In Death Of Eric Garner

New York- The New York Post is reporting that a grand jury has declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who was caught on video placing Eric Garner in a choke hold in July following accusations against Garner over alleged sales of loose cigarettes.

Garner, 43, died shortly after his altercation with Pantaleo and was heard on amateur video yelling “I can’t breathe” as Pantaleo placed him in a hold that was classified as a choke hold, which is a forbidden hold to use in the NYPD.

Garner’s death had been ruled a homicide by the city’s medical examiner. Garner’s family plans to sue the city for civil rights violations and wrongful death.

 

New York Grand Jury May Not Indict Officer Who Choked To Death Eric Garner

A grand jury is close to reaching a decision on whether or not to charge a New York City Police Department officer for killing African-American Eric Garner for selling cigarettes.

Though the case sparked nationwide outrage in July, some believe the officers involved may be cleared of wrong doing, as was the case with the Ferguson Police Department’s Darren Wilson.

Ben Swann discusses with Sunsara Taylor of World Can’t Wait.

NYPD Officer Who Allegedly Choked Eric Garner Has Already Cost City $30,000 For Unlawful Strip Search

New York- NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was caught on video putting 43-year-old Eric Garner in an apparent chokehold resulting in death last Thursday over suspicion of selling loose cigarettes, has already been named as defendant in two civil suits that alleged improper police conduct including lying and false arrest.

A civil suit, settled in January, accused Pantaleo and several other officers of unlawfully stopping a vehicle operated by Morris Wilson in New Brighton back in March 2012. The lawsuit also alleged that Pantaleo and another officer had pulled down the pants and underwear of plaintiffs Darren Collins and Tommy Rice in public view in the middle of the day.

After the vehicle was stopped, passengers Collins and Rice were ordered out of the vehicle. Collins and Rice were handcuffed, and shortly afterwards Pantaleo and Officer Ignazio Conca “pulled down the plaintiffs’ pants and underwear, and touched and searched their genital areas, or stood by while this was done in their presence,” according to the lawsuit.

Collins and Rice were then taken by Pantaleo to the 120th Precinct station where they were strip-searched again, ordered “to remove all of their clothing, squat, cough and lift their genitals.” Wilson, the driver in the vehicle stop, took a plea deal after admitting to possessing drugs in his pocket. However, Jason Leventhal, the attorney for Collins and Rice, said that the officers were allowed to arrest everyone in the car because Pantaleo had falsely claimed that drugs were in plain view in the car.

“One of the fundamental, most important things a police officer needs to do is to tell the truth,” said Leventhal. “He has no right to strip-search anyone in the middle of the street.” 

Collins and Rice had been criminally charged after the arrest and search, but the charges were eventually dismissed. Both men received $15,000 from the city in the settlement.

The second lawsuit against Pantaleo remains open. There are few details, but plaintiff Rylawn Walker filed a suit in February accusing Pantaleo of arresting him despite “committing no crime at that time” and “not acting in a suspicious manner.” Walker’s lawsuit alleges that Pantaleo “misrepresented facts in the police reports and other documents that the plaintiff had committed offenses when in fact this was not true.”

Walker had been charged with marijuana-related offenses that were later dismissed.

The latest action from Pantaleo has spurred national outrage, as disturbing video was released that showed Pantaleo in plainclothes placing Eric Garner in an apparent chokehold and not letting go even after Garner, an asthmatic man, repeatedly pleaded with the officers surrounding him “I can’t breathe.” Police claim that Garner was selling “loosies”- single, untaxed cigarettes- and that Garner has been arrested for this in the past.

The man who took the video, 22-year-old Ramsey Orta, tried to intermediate and told police that Garner was not selling cigarettes but had actually just broken up a fight between three men. The officers did not appear to heed Orta’s account of the situation.

Additional video released on Saturday showed police surrounding Garner after he collapsed following the chokehold offering no medical assistance to the man. Garner was not given immediate CPR or oxygen when EMTs arrived, but rather loaded onto a stretcher and taken away. When a witness asked why CPR wasn’t being performed, an officer answered, “Cause he’s breathing.” Pantaleo is seen waving at the person recording the aftermath, while chatting with another officer.

Pantaleo has since been placed on desk duty with his badge and gun taken away while an investigation is underway. A second unnamed officer was placed on desk duty following Garner’s death but did not have his badge and gun removed. Two paramedics and two EMTs who were called to respond to Garner’s collapse were put on “modified duty” and banned from ambulance calls while an investigation into the response call ensues.

Garner’s son, Eric Snipes, expressed anger toward Pantaleo for the death of his father. “I want to ask the man that did it, ‘What made you choke him like that?’ What made him put his hand around his bare neck?” Snipes said.

VIDEO: NBA Player Sterling Brown Tased by Milwaukee Cops Over Parking Ticket

The Milwaukee Police Department issued an apology on Wednesday and released body cam video showing a January 26 2 a.m. incident during a parking violation enforcement stop in which some of the department’s officers swarmed and tased apparently cooperative 6-foot-6 NBA guard Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks.

[Read more: Milwaukee Mayor Calls Video of Police Tasing NBA Player “Disturbing”]

Video of the incident can be seen in its entirety below. The tasing incident happens shortly after the 8 minute mark.

The video contradicts initial police reports that described Brown as combative and instead show the responding officer taking an aggressive and belittling tone. Rather than simply issuing the ticket and moving on, the officer continued probing the rookie Bucks guard with antagonizing questions and called for backup, telling officers that Brown had gotten “right up in my face.” This resulted in a swarm of officers tackling Brown as another deployed a taser on him. Brown was issued a traffic ticket and arrested for resisting or obstructing an officer. However, police supervisors refused to refer the resisting or obstructing an officer charge to prosecutors after watching the body cam video.

As previously reported, Milwaukee city officials prepared for backlash in advance of the release of body cam footage.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter Ashley Luthern published a police statement apologizing for the incident on her Twitter account, which can be seen below.

Milwaukee Police indicated that officers involved in the incident had been “disciplined.” The responding officer Joseph Grams, who first confronted Sterling Brown, was reportedly suspended for 2 days according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Two supervisors, identified as Jeffrey S. Krueger and Sean A. Mahnke, were also suspended, one for 10 days and the other for 15 days, though it is not yet known which supervisor received which length of suspension.

The Milwaukee Bucks released a statement on the incident, saying, “The abuse and intimidation that Sterling experienced at the hands of Milwaukee Police was shameful and inexcusable. Sterling has our full support as he shares his story and takes action to provide accountability. Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated case. It shouldn’t require an incident involving a professional athlete to draw attention to the fact that vulnerable people in our communities have experienced similar, and even worse, treatment. We are grateful for the service of many good police officers that courageously protect us, our fans and our city, but racial biases and abuses of power must not be ignored.”

Fox Sports notes that Sterling Brown released a statement on the incident, indicating that he plans to sue the Milwaukee Police Department, “My experience in January with the Milwaukee Police Department was wrong and shouldn’t happen to anybody. What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by the unlawful use of physical force, including being handcuffed and tased, and then unlawfully booked. This experience with the Milwaukee Police Department has forced me to stand up and tell my story so that I can help prevent these injustices from happening in the future.”

He added, “Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community. Being a voice and a face for people who won’t be heard and don’t have the same platform as I have is a responsibility I take seriously. I am speaking for Dontre Hamilton of Milwaukee, Laquan McDonald of Chicago, Stephon Clark of Sacramento, Eric Garner of New York, and the list goes on. These people aren’t able to speak anymore because of unjust actions by those who are supposed to ‘serve and protect’ the people… This is bigger than me. My family, friends, legal team, Priority Sports, Milwaukee Bucks, the black community and the communities of all who stand against injustice plan to continue the fight. Peaceful support to ensure no further damage to our community is the only way to respond. I know many of you will share my anger and frustration, but for our community to progress and grow, we need to build on what we already have and not destroy it. I will take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department to continue forcing change in our community.”

According to Yahoo Sports, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who said that he found the officers’ behavior “offensive,” said, “I am very sorry the Milwaukee police treated him in the fashion he was treated.”

The Milwaukee Police Association, the union representing the officers in question, deflected blame for the incident in a statement seen below and suggested that city leaders were to blame for the behavior, claiming that officers are understaffed and at risk, despite the fact that in the incident several officers were responding to what was a parking violation.

Police use-of-force trainer Robert Willis discusses where the officers’ behavior deviated from protocols in a below video by Today’s TMJ4.

Report: Police Brutality Protests Led To Reform Measures In 24 States

Nearly one year after Michael Brown was shot and killed by former police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, a series of protests against police brutality have led to 40 new police reform measures being passed in 24 states, which is just a fraction of all of the measures that have been proposed. An analysis conducted by … Continue reading Report: Police Brutality Protests Led To Reform Measures In 24 States

Ron Paul: How Can U.S. Government Killing People Be Justified As ‘Doing What Is Necessary’?

A vicious dictator, Joseph Stalin, is quoted as having said, “One man being killed is a tragedy. Killing millions is nothing but a statistic.”

In his latest Liberty Report, three-time presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Ron Paul discussed the relevance of this quote to the way government and media treats these tragedies and statistics.

We are now very concerned about tragic death,” Paul said, referencing the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, who were killed at the hands of a militarized police force. There are a lot of emotions surrounding these tragedies, and those emotions are sometimes used by people to make certain points. At the same time, other deaths are being ignored.

When Lady Nancy Astor confronted Stalin, asking him how long he would continue killing people, he is know to have said, “As long as it’s necessary.”

That is the psychological framework from which he operated, Paul noted. “Is that the direction we’re going in?

If you add up deaths from American bombs and sanctions, there are a lot of people who have been killed, Paul said. When Madeleine Albright was confronted on 60 Minutes in 1996 with the statistic that 500,000 Iraqi children had died, and asked if the price was worth it, Albright replied that “We think the price is worth it.”

By that standard, the U.S. government killing people seems to be just “doing what is necessary,” Paul said.

And how long will our war in the Middle East go on? U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said to prepare for a “long war“.

We have come to a point where, legally speaking, we can say anyone opposed to the government is a terrorist, Paul said—even if we are going in and invading another country. Paul said that if they shoot back, then they are a terrorist.

When the media reports on a small event, they use it to take away power from the individual and give it to the state, according to Liberty Report co-host Daniel McAdams. The tragedy of a million dead shows the failure of power, he explained. Paul agreed, noting that government and media succeed in changing our attitudes of these events, and that we make heroes out of the people who are killing people endlessly.

Watch the full episode above and check out more episodes of the Ron Paul Liberty Report here at Truth In Media.

In case you missed Ben Swann’s Truth In Media episode on ISIS watch it below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6kdi1UXxhY

Proposed Bill Would Make Police Chokeholds a Federal Crime

The Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act, a bill sponsored by New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn), would make the use of chokeholds by officers on suspects a crime under federal law. The bill, which defines a chokehold as “the application of any pressure to the throat or windpipe which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce the intake … Continue reading Proposed Bill Would Make Police Chokeholds a Federal Crime

Edited Wikipedia Entries About Police Brutality Traced To NYPD; Department Investigating

New York- Last Friday, Capital New York reported that several changes had been made to Wikipedia entries including those regarding the deaths of Eric Garner, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo, and those changes were traced back to computers operating on the NYPD’s network. Garner, Bell, and Diallo were three unarmed men killed by the NYPD in separate incidents.

According to Capital New York, a spokesperson confirmed over the weekend that the Wikipedia edits stemmed from NYPD servers, and police have identified one editor of an Eric Garner entry as an individual working from NYPD computers outside of 1 Police Plaza. The NYPD has not publicly named the individual.

“We are conducting an internal investigation to identify what member of the service may have accessed the Department’s server. These incidents did not originate from computers located at Police Headquarters,” said Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis regarding edits to the “Death of Eric Garner” Wikipedia page made on Dec. 3, 2014, shortly after a grand jury declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner.

Capital New York revealed the following edits reportedly made by a user on the 1 Police Plaza network to the “Death of Eric Garner” entry:

  • “Garner raised both his arms in the air” was changed to “Garner flailed his arms about as he spoke.”
  • “[P]ush Garner’s face into the sidewalk” was changed to “push Garner’s head down into the sidewalk.”
  • “Use of the chokehold has been prohibited” was changed to “Use of the chokehold is legal, but has been prohibited.”
  •  The sentence “Garner, who was considerably larger than any of the officers, continued to struggle with them,” was added to the description of the incident.
  •  Instances of the word “chokehold” were replaced twice, once to “chokehold or headlock,” and once to “respiratory distress.”

The screenshots of those changes can be seen here.

Capital New York reported that on April 12, 2007, a user on 1 Police Plaza’s network tried to delete a “Sean Bell Shooting Incident” Wikipedia entry. “He [Bell] was in the news for about two months, and now no one except Al Sharpton cares anymore. The police shoot people every day, and times with a lot more than 50 bullets. This incident is more news than notable,” the user wrote on Wikipedia’s “Articles for deletion” page.

Capital New York also reported that on On Nov. 23, 2013, a user on the 1 Police Plaza network edited a Wikipedia entry for an unarmed man named Amadou Diallo, who was killed by the NYPD in 1999 after his wallet was identified as a gun. Changes were made to a sentence referring to NYPD Officer Kenneth Boss, an officer who was involved in the shooting. The sentence “Officer Kenneth Boss had been previously involved in an incident where an unarmed man was shot, but remained working as a police officer” had been changed to “Officer Kenneth Boss had been previously involved in an incident where an armed man was shot”.

Changes have also reportedly been made to Wikipedia entries about the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies:

“The stop-and-frisk program of New York City is a practice of the New York City Police Department to stop, question, and search people” was changed to “The stop-and-frisk program of New York City is a practice of the New York City Police Department to stop, question and, if the circumstances of the stop warrant it, conduct a frisk of the person stopped.”

“The stop-and-frisk program of New York City is a practice of the New York City Police Department to stop, question and, if the circumstances of the stop warrant it, conduct a frisk of the person stopped” was changed to “The stop-and-frisk program of New York City is a practice of the New York City Police Department by which a police officer who reasonably suspects a person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a felony or a Penal Law misdemeanorstops and questions that person, and, if the circumstances of the stop warrant it, conducts a frisk of the person stopped.”

“if the circumstances of the stop warrant it, conducts a frisk of the person stopped” was changed to “if the officer reasonably suspects he or she is in danger of physical injury, frisks the person stopped for weapons.”
“The rules for stop and frisk are found in New York State Criminal Procedure Law section 140.50, and are based on the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Terry v. Ohio” was also added to the Wikipedia entry.

Capital New York pointed to a list of anonymous Wikipedia edits tracing back to NYPD IP addresses that can be seen here. Davis said that a thorough investigation will be difficult because the NYPD maintains just one-year logs of computer activity. The NYPD may be able to investigate its records regarding recent changes such as the Eric Garner edits, but the department may not able to trace older activity. Capital New York reportedly discovered Wikipedia edits connected to the NYPD spanning at least ten years.

TN State Senate Considers Bill to Ban Cops from Using Military Equipment

After a 2014 News Channel 5 investigation determined that officials in Tennessee had been abusing the US Department of Defense’s 1033 program, which transfers surplus military equipment to law enforcement agencies, Tennessee’s GOP-controlled Senate is considering a bill that would ban cops in the state from owning or using military equipment. The bill, SB0039, was introduced … Continue reading TN State Senate Considers Bill to Ban Cops from Using Military Equipment

Darren Wilson Grand Juror Sues Prosecutor For The Right To Speak

Washington, D.C.- A grand juror in the Darren Wilson case is suing the St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch for the right to speak out about the grand jury proceedings. The juror says that McCulloch and his staff have “mischaracterized” the grand jury proceedings.

The grand juror, referred to only as “Grand Juror Doe” in the lawsuit, takes issue with how McCulloch characterized the case. McCulloch released evidence presented to the grand jury and publicly discussed the case after the grand jury decided not to indict Wilson, then a Ferguson police officer, in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American.

According to the lawsuit, “The current information available about the grand jurors’ views is not entirely accurate — especially the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges.”

The grand jurors are under a permanent gag order unless a court grants them the right to speak out about the case.

Meanwhile, in New York, a hearing was postponed on Monday that would allow the the grand jury proceedings in the Eric Garner case to be released to the public.

In the video above, Ben Swann talks about the cases.

Nashville Police Chief Defends Decision Not to Crack Down on Police Brutality Protesters

Following the highly-publicized and controversial officer-involved deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, protests erupted nationwide. In many cities, police responded to demonstrations with overwhelming force and military hardware, and rioters reacted by setting fire to storefronts and looting local businesses. However, Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson took a dramatically different approach, instead treating the … Continue reading Nashville Police Chief Defends Decision Not to Crack Down on Police Brutality Protesters

Civilians and non-civilians alike gather to bid farewell to fallen NYPD officer

It has been hard to be a police officer in America after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and two NYPD officers were killed in retaliation for the failure of grand juries to indict officers in relation to their deaths.  In retaliation, two NYPD officers were killed by a civilian on Dec. 20. … Continue reading Civilians and non-civilians alike gather to bid farewell to fallen NYPD officer

After Killing of Two Officers, NYPD Union Declares Itself a “Wartime” Police Department

Following the shooting that killed two New York police officers, the NYPD’s union has issued a statement announcing that in response, it has become a “wartime” police department. As previously reported, Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were killed by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, after he who ambushed and shot them both, in an alleged attempt to avenge the … Continue reading After Killing of Two Officers, NYPD Union Declares Itself a “Wartime” Police Department

Media Ignores Tens of Thousands of People Marching Against Police Brutality

On Saturday tens of thousands of people across the United States participated in marches and rallies against police brutality. The corporate media largely ignored the protests as they continued into the evening in New York, Oakland, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Ferguson, Missouri, Washington D.C. and several others. The protests are calling attention to … Continue reading Media Ignores Tens of Thousands of People Marching Against Police Brutality

Agent Provocateur? Masked Cop, Uncovered by Oakland Protesters, Points Gun at Freelance Photographer

On Wednesday, a police brutality protest spontaneously emerged in the Oakland, CA area in response to recent revelations that grand juries failed to indict the officers responsible for the controversial deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The demonstrators met on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley and marched throughout the streets of … Continue reading Agent Provocateur? Masked Cop, Uncovered by Oakland Protesters, Points Gun at Freelance Photographer

Police Chief Joins Protest Against Police Brutality, Holds Sign Saying “#BlackLivesMatter”

Across the nation, protests have erupted over widespread reports of police brutality and, more specifically, in response to news that that the officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed African-American men, will not face charges. Police departments in various jurisdictions have been handling the protests in a variety of ways, with some turning to militarized crackdowns while others focus their efforts on fostering cooperation with protesters.

According to Fox 2 Now St. Louis, around 100 protesters took to the streets of Richmond, CA on Tuesday in an effort to sound the alarm on police brutality and racial disparities in the criminal justice system. When Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus arrived on the scene, protesters were met with the most surprising police response to a protest yet. Rather than deploying tear gas on protesters, Chief Magnus held a sign saying “#BlackLivesMatter” and joined in the protest.

“I spoke with my command staff, and we agreed it would be nice to convey our commitment to peaceful protest and that black and brown lives do matter… And to help bridge the gap that we understand sometimes exists between police and community around certain issues,” said Chief Magnus in comments to Contra Costa Times. Other officers and police officials also joined in on the demonstration.

“We get the conversation about use of force, we get it… This is an opportunity for all police departments, including ours, to look inward and examine our approaches and get better,” said Deputy Chief Allwyn Brown, who also attended the protest. In addition to moral support, Richmond police provided pizza for protesters.

Contra Costa Times writer Robert Rogers noted the fact that Chief Magnus has drawn significant local praise for his approach to policing, as both crime rates and police use of force incidents have been on the decline in his jurisdiction.

Protest organizer and RYSE Executive Director Kimberly Aceves said of Chief Magnus’ protest response in comments to CBS San Francisco, “I think symbolically, when there’s so much division between communities and police departments, to have the highest ranking members of the department hold signs for 4.5 hours…I felt like it was definitely legitimate.” The protest went on for five hours, a symbolic reference to the length of time that Michael Brown’s body remained in the street after he was killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.

Photographs of Chief Magnus holding a “#BlackLivesMatter” sign have gone viral online, symbolizing an Andy Griffith-esque community-based approach to policing as an alternative to the intimidation-based, militarized approaches that have become more common in modern times. According to WDAZ-TV, the Department of Justice has asked the Richmond, CA police chief to participate in a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown.